Opinion | A crisis that is slowly turning catastrophic2 min read . Updated: 20 Jun 2019, 12:57 AM IST
India faces a water crisis acute enough to cause popular unrest as it slowly assumes calamitous proportions. Addressing it will require efforts in almost every sphere of life
Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, who is currently on a World Cup campaign in England, was fined ₹500 by the Gurgaon municipal corporation after one of his domestic helps was found washing his car with piped drinking water. The amount in itself is inconsequential, but its symbolic value is stark when juxtaposed with poor women running after a water tanker in a desperate bid to collect a precious trickle as the vehicle ambles along, as seen in Phulambri, a Marathwada town in Maharashtra. Most residents of Marathwada rely on tanker water, earning this arid belt the moniker “Tankerwada". While water deprivation is especially acute here, it afflicts large parts of India with varying degrees of severity. Some parts of Karnataka, for example, shut schools for an extra week on account of water scarcity. Incidents of violence over water have been reported from across the country. In Madhya Pradesh, which has had several such clashes, the state government asked superintendents of police of all 52 districts to guard water sources. This is unprecedented. It also portends a future of worsening strife over what many of us take for granted.